Cisco Systems (NASDAQ:CSCO) Rating Lowered to Market Perform at William Blair

William Blair downgraded shares of Cisco Systems (NASDAQ:CSCO) from an outperform rating to a market perform rating in a report published on Wednesday, 24/7 WallStreet reports. The firm currently has $56.10 price target on the network equipment provider’s stock.

Other equities research analysts have also issued reports about the stock. Goldman Sachs Group lowered shares of Cisco Systems from a conviction-buy rating to a buy rating and upped their price target for the company from $58.00 to $62.00 in a report on Tuesday, April 16th. BidaskClub cut shares of Cisco Systems from a strong-buy rating to a buy rating in a research report on Tuesday, May 7th. Bank of America reiterated a buy rating and set a $56.00 price objective on shares of Cisco Systems in a research report on Thursday, February 14th. Jefferies Financial Group lifted their price objective on shares of Cisco Systems to $55.00 and gave the company a buy rating in a research report on Thursday, February 14th. They noted that the move was a valuation call. Finally, Citigroup lifted their price objective on shares of Cisco Systems from $52.00 to $56.00 and gave the company a buy rating in a research report on Thursday, February 14th. Seven investment analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and nineteen have assigned a buy rating to the company. Cisco Systems has a consensus rating of Buy and an average target price of $55.92.

NASDAQ:CSCO opened at $55.86 on Wednesday. Cisco Systems has a 52 week low of $40.25 and a 52 week high of $57.56. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.43, a current ratio of 1.69 and a quick ratio of 1.64. The firm has a market cap of $244.47 billion, a P/E ratio of 23.87, a PEG ratio of 2.92 and a beta of 1.21.

Cisco Systems (NASDAQ:CSCO) last posted its quarterly earnings results on Wednesday, May 15th. The network equipment provider reported $0.78 EPS for the quarter, beating the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.77 by $0.01. Cisco Systems had a net margin of 25.76% and a return on equity of 29.88%. The company had revenue of $12.96 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $12.89 billion. During the same period in the prior year, the business posted $0.66 EPS. The firm’s revenue was up 4.0% compared to the same quarter last year. Equities research analysts expect that Cisco Systems will post 2.8 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The company also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Wednesday, July 24th. Shareholders of record on Friday, July 5th will be paid a dividend of $0.35 per share. This represents a $1.40 annualized dividend and a yield of 2.51%. The ex-dividend date is Wednesday, July 3rd. Cisco Systems’s payout ratio is 59.83%.

Cisco Systems declared that its board has approved a stock repurchase program on Wednesday, February 13th that permits the company to buyback $15.00 billion in shares. This buyback authorization permits the network equipment provider to repurchase up to 6.5% of its shares through open market purchases. Shares buyback programs are typically a sign that the company’s leadership believes its shares are undervalued.

In other Cisco Systems news, EVP Mark D. Chandler sold 3,750 shares of Cisco Systems stock in a transaction on Monday, May 20th. The shares were sold at an average price of $55.79, for a total transaction of $209,212.50. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through this hyperlink. Also, CFO Kelly A. Kramer sold 70,000 shares of Cisco Systems stock in a transaction on Thursday, May 30th. The stock was sold at an average price of $53.56, for a total transaction of $3,749,200.00. Following the transaction, the chief financial officer now directly owns 349,122 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $18,698,974.32. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have sold 75,129 shares of company stock valued at $4,035,554 over the last ninety days. 0.03% of the stock is owned by insiders.

A number of hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently bought and sold shares of CSCO. Bank of New York Mellon Corp raised its holdings in shares of Cisco Systems by 193,168.7% in the third quarter. Bank of New York Mellon Corp now owns 104,741,949 shares of the network equipment provider’s stock valued at $5,095,693,000 after acquiring an additional 104,687,754 shares in the last quarter. Oregon Public Employees Retirement Fund increased its holdings in shares of Cisco Systems by 3,130.4% during the fourth quarter. Oregon Public Employees Retirement Fund now owns 68,193,317 shares of the network equipment provider’s stock valued at $1,574,000 after acquiring an additional 66,082,350 shares in the last quarter. Geode Capital Management LLC boosted its position in Cisco Systems by 11.2% in the fourth quarter. Geode Capital Management LLC now owns 64,506,078 shares of the network equipment provider’s stock valued at $2,790,865,000 after buying an additional 6,516,314 shares during the last quarter. Northern Trust Corp boosted its position in Cisco Systems by 1.3% in the fourth quarter. Northern Trust Corp now owns 63,754,084 shares of the network equipment provider’s stock valued at $2,762,464,000 after buying an additional 813,544 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Norges Bank purchased a new stake in Cisco Systems in the fourth quarter valued at approximately $2,164,695,000. 74.60% of the stock is owned by institutional investors.

About Cisco Systems

Cisco Systems, Inc designs, manufactures, and sells Internet Protocol based networking and other products related to the communications and information technology industry worldwide. The company offers switching products; routing products that interconnect public and private wireline and mobile networks; data center products; and wireless access points for use in voice, video, and data applications.

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